About Ben Honen

Ben was born and raised in Bend, Oregon. Because of that, he is really enthusiastic about the outdoors and just loves every activity associated such as rock climbing, rafting, and skiing.

Tips for Repairing Your Garage Door Opener

A garage door opener may just be one of the most one of the most neglected mechanical components in any household. It’s understandable, why would anyone pay any attention to these devices unless they are malfunctioning? Unfortunately, there’s likely to be a day where your garage door opener will give you a bit of trouble. No doubt, this can be frustrating to say the least.

With any luck the fix is simple, and we’re going to discuss some of the most common problems that people experience with their existing garage door openers. Sometimes that won’t fix the issue though, and the only choice you’ll be left with is to find a replacement. Before we go there though, let’s try some quick fixes.

Common Garage Door Opener Issues and Repairs

There are three very common repairs that come up with garage door openers. Luckily they are all fairly simple fixes. Let’s start with the most common:

Garage Door Won’t Close

If your garage door begins to close, gets pretty close to the bottom, then turns around and raises back up, then the most likely source of the issue is dirty or misaligned safety sensors. All garage door openers should be installed with safety sensors that prevent it from closing should something be blocking its path – be it a car, a ball, or (heaven forbid) a pet or a child. There are absolutely essential to the safe operation of a garage door, but if they get out of whack you can experience issues. Each sensor has a light that will be illuminated if it is seeing the other sensor properly. If you notice that the light is out or is flickering, you’ll likely need to clean the sensors or realign them until the lights stay illuminated.

Garage Door Closes All The Way, Then Opens

This problem is quite similar to the symptoms we just described, but the cause is slightly different. All garage doors should be equipped with a feature that if they feel resistance during travel, they turn around and go the other way. The reason is that if the sensors fail and an object begins to get squished between the moving door, the door won’t continue to push down and cause more damage. Likely what is happening is that the travel is set farther than the fully closed position of the garage door. As a result, the garage door opener thinks the ground is actually an object that it should not be squishing. Simply back off on the travel in the closed position and you should have the problem solved in no time.

The Garage Door Doesn’t Respond To The Remote

This is perhaps the most simple fix of all. If you press the button on your remote and the garage door opener doesn’t respond, then most likely the issue is that your garage door opener remote’s battery needs replacement. If that doesn’t fix it, you may well need to replace the battery in the garage door opener unit itself.

These simple fixes will take care of 90% of the problems you’re likely to encounter when using your garage door opener. If they don’t take care of it, you might want to consider calling a professional to take a look at it. This can be expensive though, and for the price you’ll pay you might be better off replacing the garage door all together. If you’re going down this route, you might want to take a look at the ultimate guide by BGDOR, it’s chock-full of information that will help you find the perfect opener for your home.

Dog Crate Divider DIY: The Secret To Perfectly-Sized Puppy Home

Dog crates are an essential part of the training process for well-behaved pets. One of the most critical functions is creating a den space where your dog will feel comfortable and safe. There is nothing better than you can choose to confine your dog for a trip to the vet or take the dog along on a road trip (The Pampered Pup provides reviews for different crates).

There are circumstances that might make you consider a dog crate divider DIY project. Using the crate size for puppy training makes it easier for you to have designated toileting and sleeping areas. Knowing how to make a dog crate smaller for a puppy will benefit you and your dog in the long run, as the divider is something you can always remove. Knowing some simple dog crate hacks will make training and living with your dog that much easier.

How a Divider Makes a Difference

A divided dog crate for potty training can make the process go much more smoothly. Dogs have a natural inclination to avoid soiling the areas where they eat or sleep. Having distinct areas in the crate will put a stop to a lot of inappropriate behavior.

When your dog is initially going through the stages of housebreaking, the smaller space will encourage them to go to the bathroom outside. As the puppy grows, you can expand the space they have within the crate. Making sure you use the right crate size for puppy training is essential to success and a well-behaved dog. 

Another advantage of using a barrier is if you have two smaller dogs sharing crate space. Even though many dogs get along well enough to occupy the same crate, a divider can help prevent a lot of potential problems. If the dogs eat inside the crate, for example, the barrier can minimize the chances of fighting between the two.

puppy by the couch

Measure Your Dog’s Size

For a divided dog crate for potty training to working most effectively, your dog needs to have the proper space for standing, turning around, and lying down. It’s essential to determine how much room a dog should have in a crate, so they don’t feel cramped when confined. Behavior problems are very commonplace when a dog ends up confined to close quarters and can be very hard to eliminate further down the road.

Your dog’s height always needs to be measured from the floor to the top of their withers. Add another 3 inches to this number to prevent the dog from getting a paw or nose caught. For example, if your dog is 18 inches at the withers, add 3 inches for a total measurement of 21 inches. 

You will also need to measure your dog from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Add 3 inches to these measurements as well to ensure better coverage across the area. A 24-inch measurement, for example, would be 27 inches total. 

Compare these measurements to the measurements of the crate. The dog needs to have sufficient space, even when the crate has a divider. Accurate measurements will help ensure that your dog has the space that they need on both sides of the divider.

Does the Door Location Make a Difference?

Although the door placement does not impact whether you can have a divider, you may have to figure out whether the installation of the divider works well with the door design. Making this decision before you start with creating the divider makes a difference in the outcome of your project and the crate’s usefulness.

You don’t want to get the divider installed, then find that your dog won’t go into the crate. Another issue to avoid is having the placement of the barrier make getting through the door tricky. Having difficulty getting through the door can be something that gives your dog negative associations with being in the crate. 

Consider where your puppy or dog likes to rest the most when thinking about positioning for the barrier. A lengthwise divider might work best for dogs that sleep near the side, while a crosswise barrier might work better for dogs resting near the front. One of the keys to keeping your dog as comfortable as possible in their crate is avoiding disruptions as much as you possibly can so they still feel safe.

Think About How You Intend to Build Your Divider

When you’re thinking about dog crate divider ideas, you want to make sure the crate will be an appropriate size as the dog grows. For example, a crate that comfortably holds a Golden Retriever as a puppy should hold that dog as an adult. One of the ultimate goals of using a divider should be to reduce the chances of replacing the crate because your dog is growing.

Even though some crates come with a divider, you might benefit from devising one of your own. Knowing when to remove the crate divider is just as important as knowing if you are using the right type for your dog’s needs. A custom divider, distinct from the one that came with the crate, can maximize the number of ways that you use the crate.

Using Cardboard as a Quick Fix

Some owners who have crates without included dividers find cardboard an economical option. You can fit in an appropriately-sized piece easily, as well as replace it inexpensively as needed. Bear in mind that cardboard is not one of the sturdier dog crate divider ideas and may not be the best option to use over a longer-term.

One thing to avoid is using pieces of cardboard that have a lot of printing on them, particularly with a lot of colors. Printer ink can be one of the more toxic substances for a dog to ingest. You also want to discourage your dog from trying to eat the cardboard, in any case, because of the possibility of digestive upsets.

How Wood Might Be a Good Choice

Plywood can be a better option to consider using as one of the better dog crate hacks. Depending on whether you have an appropriate saw and cutting surface, you might need to buy a custom-size piece from lumber or home improvement store. If your dog tends to do a lot of heavy chewing, however, plywood might not withstand their demands.

Avoid wood that has been painted or treated because of some of the chemicals that might be present. There is also a risk for fragments that might be harmful if swallowed. As puppies tend to explore things by finding out if they can eat them, wood ingestion is something to be very cautious about, and sanded edges help prevent this problem to a higher degree. 

Advantages of Plexiglas

Dogs that chew through most wood easily might benefit from a dog crate divider DIY that uses Plexiglas. These dividers not only look professional but are durable and robust. Although Plexiglas is a more expensive material, many owners find it hard to beat and are willing to pay the extra cost for greater peace of mind.

Plexiglas is something that will require special preparation in a shop setting. One of the most significant advantages that this material offers is being virtually indestructible. When you use this material, you are assured that your barrier should last for the life of the crate and beyond.  

Getting the Divider Ready

Knowing the right crate size for puppy training will make it easier for you to prepare the divider. Consider whether dividing the crate crosswise or lengthwise will work best. Although your dog is unlikely to notice the difference, the placement can make a difference when you’re installing the divider.

Use the width from the measurements if you’re installing the divider crosswise, and the length of installing lengthwise. Always subtract half an inch to allow for more flexibility in the installation. The size is also small enough to keep your puppy from getting caught.

Cutting the Divider Properly

If you’re cutting cardboard, scissors or a utility knife should be sharp enough. A box cutter or hack saw should easily do the job with plywood. In the case of Plexiglas, this should be cut at the shop.

Duct tape along the edges on a cardboard divider will help from tears and frayed edges. The edges of plywood should always be sanded down with high-grit sandpaper. Doing so will help prevent splinters that could hurt your dog.  

Holes along the upper edge and sides of the divider can make it easier to anchor, as required. Anchoring the divider down properly will help increase its durability. You can poke holes in cardboard easily with a sharpened pencil and in plywood by pounding a nail through or using a drill. 

Installing Your Divider

The installation will come a lot more easily once the divider has been cut. Opening either the top panel or door, depending on the crate’s structure, will give you the access you need. Use zip ties through the anchor points to help secure the divider.

A divided dog crate for potty training and other purposes comes in handy. The better the quality of the divider, the more it will help your crate be a comfortable “den” for your dog.

Some Common Problems to Think About

Although putting a barrier on your dog’s crate is usually an easy task, things can go wrong that you might need to think about with both puppies and adult dogs. Knowing what these problems are and how to handle them will make things go much more easily.

Some of these possible problems include:

  • Confinement-related anxiety due to cruelty and neglect
  • Dogs who dislodge the crate floor and make it hard to keep the divider up
  • Escape artists with a knack for getting out

Some dogs who have come from hoarding situations or other circumstances where they were inappropriately confined to a crate may have anxiety issues with being in any crate. A previous owner who used the crate as a form of punishment can also cause anxiety. Being calm and confident when settling the dog into the crate can reduce these issues.

Puppies or dogs who are active even inside the crate can make the floor of the crate, often called a tray, shift when they are inside a wire crate. The problem with the crate tray shifting is that this action can destabilize the barrier. Making sure the wire “lip” that fits over the front of the tray is in the proper position can eliminate this issue.

Some dogs are notorious for being escape artists, managing to get out of the most secure crate. When this is the case, even carefully-constructed dividers can prove somewhat of a problem. Although dogs that are intent on escaping will often find a way to push the barrier aside, taking the extra steps to make this harder by securing everything properly makes a difference.

three brown dogs

The Benefits of a Dog Crate Divider DIY Project

When you create the divider yourself, you’re ensuring that everything is constructed just as you expect. You don’t need to think about a pre-made barrier, not fitting your criteria. Another advantage is making sure the measurements fit just as you expect.

Another advantage is being able to adapt the divider according to changing needs. For example, if your dog tries to get past the barrier a lot, you can provide the necessary reinforcements. Knowing that the barrier’s quality is within your control makes a difference.

Home Water Filtration: Here’s What You Need To Know

Although the drinking water in your home is treated by the town prior to entering your residence (unless you’re on a well), it can pick up trace elements and bacterial pollutants on its way typically via toxic water runoff from industries and farms, which leads to contaminated water. Therefore, many individuals opt to install a water filtration system in their home to help remove possible impurities for healthier drinking water. Some systems can also remove chlorine for improved taste and odor, and some also even remove lead, which can be especially harmful to developing children.

Overall, water filtration systems help ensure a healthy mineral balance, which in turn helps to maintain a healthy pH in the water, which improves the quality of water used throughout your home. There are various types of water filtration systems, for instance, some use a physical barrier, while others use a biological process, and then there are ones that use a chemical process to remove impurities. Some things you should know to help select the correct water filtration system for your home include:

Know What Contaminants are in Your Water

First, take a water sample to the nearest state certified laboratory to help determine the exact impurities that are present in your water. Once the laboratory confirms the impurities in your water, it will then give you an idea of the type of filter you need based on testing.

Resilient pollutants, such as ions, metals, lead, and aqueous salts, can only be removed using a reverse osmosis filter, which drives polluted water through a lining at high force so that the water is able to permeate through; however, the impurities in the water remain behind.

Meanwhile, most basic pollutants, such as chlorine and sediment residue, can be removed using an Active Carbon Filter, which utilizes a layer of activated carbon to remove pollutants via chemical absorption. Active Carbon Filters are also useful for removing bad taste and smell from water. However, they are not recommended for dissolving inorganic substances, salts, or minerals. Carbon filters vary in effectiveness, so be sure to select one based on your particular needs.

There are also ion exchange filters that soften hard water. They operate by removing limescale, which in turn makes the water more digestible. There are also faucet and pitcher filtration systems.

Understand the Filter’s Purification Rating

The filter’s purification rating is often indicated in gallons per day. Therefore, if you plan to use large amounts of water, such as for cooking, showering, and doing laundry, you must select a filter that is effective at treating numerous gallons of water daily. Selecting a filter that is not effective at treating large amounts of water per day means that you will not have sufficient water for your household’s needs.

Filters that Remove Pollutants and Improve Taste are Best

Bad odors found in water that is untreated can also pose a threat to your health; therefore, aim for a filter that not only removes pollutants but that also neutralizes bad smells for all-around safe drinking water that is refreshing and crisp to the taste.

Inquire About the Maintenance

There are less costly filtration systems, such as faucets and pitchers, which require little maintenance because they do not include additional features. Meanwhile, more advanced systems can require more maintenance due to their features, such as built-in indicators that alert you when the filter needs to be replaced. More advanced filtration systems can also be laborious to install, which means you may need to call a professional, so keep this in mind when selecting a system.

Compare Costs

When selecting a home water filtration system, you should select a system based on what you can afford because, keep in mind, you will still be responsible for your monthly utility bill in addition to purchasing the system. Advanced filter systems, though more costly, are more powerful at eliminating contaminates because they are equipped with more advanced techniques to purify water. However, less costly filters, such as faucet filtration systems, may prove more costly over time because they require filter changes more frequently, so do the math.

Ultimately, drinking purified water can help reduce the risk of pollutants which have been linked to gastrointestinal disease, a weak immune system in developing children as well as an increased risk of colon cancer, bladder cancer, and rectal cancer from chlorine and its products. Home filtration water systems provide a convenient way to enjoy purified water and without the cost of purchasing bottled water.

How To Find The Right Snow Blower for Bend, OR Winters

While looking for the right snow blower for Bend winters, ensure you consider the following factors so that you can get the snow blower you want. Note that each snowblower type is available in different widths.

1. Size of the Area that Requires Clearing

Single-stage units are suitable for small driveways while a two- or three-stage unit is suitable for driveways at least 60 feet long.

2. The Kind of Snow that Requires Clearing

Light snow can be handled by single-stage units. The two-stage unit has an impeller which assists in preventing clogging in the heavy and wet snow. It also has serrated augers that penetrate hard-packed ice or snow. Three-stage units help in moving heavier and wetter snow in a short time.

3. The Type of Terrain

Models which are push-propelled and auger-assisted are ideal for level surfaces. On the other hand, wheels which are engine driven are suitable for the sloped terrain. Tire chains can be used with particular models for enhancing traction in all conditions.

Types of Snow Blowers

The major snow blower types include single-stage gas, three-stage gas, single-stage electric, and two-stage gas. Since your regular snow-clearing job can be handled by more than one of these types, consider the benefits of each.

1. Single Stage

These types of snow blowers are lighter in weight and easier to handle in comparison to two- or three-stage snow blowers. These blowers are ideal for clearing snowfall of at most 8 inches in mid-sized areas. The snow is directed via a discharge chute by an auger. The auger can contact the surface to offer limited forward-driven action despite wheels lacking an engine-driven feature. Single-stage blowers are suitable for areas you won’t pick up gravel or rocks like paved surfaces because auger contacts the surface.

i. Corded Electric

These single-stage snow blowers begin with a button’s push and require less maintenance than a gas model. They are typically more compact and lighter in comparison to gas models. However, they need an extension cord that stays flexible even when the weather is cold. Select a compatible extension cord according to the instructions of the manufacturer.

ii. Cordless Electric

This is a single-stage snow blower that features a push-button to start, and maintenance is low. It is more compact and lighter. Additionally, it does not require a power cord, unlike other electric snow blowers.

iii. Gas

This single-stage snow blower lacks a power cord, and for that reason, it is mobile. It also has greater intake heights and available clearing widths than electric models.

2. Two-stage Snow Blowers

These snow blowers are gas models and can handle snowfalls of over 8 inches. They are ideal for clearing large areas. Their wheels have an engine-driven feature which reduces fatigue of the operator in addition to better handling of uneven terrain. An impeller fan discharges the snow via a chute after collection of the snow by an auger. This double-stage process moves snow farther and faster than single-stage blowers. Some models have skid shoes which assist in elevation of the auger to be able to use the blower on unpaved surfaces.

3. Three-stage Snow Blowers

These models have a gas feature, and they can handle a lot of snow in a short time. When it comes to operation, it resembles the two-stage snow blower. Additionally, it has an accelerator, which has ten times the speed of the augers to help in clearing heavy snow quicker than a two-stage snow blower.

Features of a Snow Blower

In addition to looking for a snow blower that suits your needs, ensure the features of the blower suits these needs. The most features are found in three- and two-stage snow blowers.

• An electric starter

• A powerful gasoline engine

• Clearing width and intake height

• Single-hand operation

• Speed controls

• Power steering

• Large tires

• Treads or tracks

• A remote chute control

• A joystick chute control

• A deflection extension or extended chute

• Drift cutters

• A headlight

• Heated handgrips

Conclusion

Once you have considered the area requiring clearing, the type of snow, the type of terrain, and your budget, you can then choose the model with the features that suit your needs. Happy snow blowing!

Bend, Oregon Nightlife: The Essential Spots

After spending eight long, exhausting hours inside a metal tube flying thirty thousand feet in the air, you reached Bend, Oregon. Other than knowing the city has a fantastic outdoor scene – a hiker’s paradise, you know nothing about the city’s nightlife.

Luckily for you, this blog post will shed some light on what the city has to offer during the night. This way you can show the people, especially the ladies, your impressive dance moves, and have something to talk about with your friends once you returns home. To pull this off, let’s begin with SEVEN.

SEVEN

When it comes to visiting places for laughs, drinks, and entertainment, look no further than this place. It has everything one is looking for in a nightclub. It has comedy performances, karaoke bars, local DJs, and of course, drinks – just don’t have so many drinks that it’s impossible to return to your hotel.

For the comedy events, the two to look out for are Comedy Open Mic Night and Stand-Up. On Thursday nights at 7pm, patrons can attend the Open Mic Night event and get a full night of laughs. Or, they can enjoy the live Stand-Up comedy performance that happens every Friday at 8pm. But if one can go to both, then do it. To know who’s performing on those nights and the price of tickets, go to the nightclub’s Facebook subpage, Bend Comedy.

In addition to comedy events, SEVEN has karaoke bars customers can use to terribly sing their favorite Demi Lovato or Justin Timberlake song to their heart’s content. The two popular ones are Hump Day Karaoke and Cocktails & Karaoke. The first one begins on Wednesdays at 8pm, and the other one starts on Thursdays at 6pm.

However, the best time to go the nightclub is on the weekends, primarily Fridays and Saturdays. Guests get to hear jokes, watch the UFC on paper-per-view, and dance to incredible music remixed by local DJs.

While this nightclub hosts some cool events, it isn’t for everyone. Luckily, there are places in the city that offer a more relaxed environment at night. One of these places that come to mind is Astro Lounge.

Astro Lounge

As mentioned previously, this place offers a more chill atmosphere for people who aren’t into nightclubs. One of the cool aspects of it is its diverse food options. For example, patrons can order a dish called Garlic Hummus that comes with wonton strips. Or, they can order something simple, like Mac ‘n Cheese. Either way, Astro Lounge serves everyone’s tastes buds.

When things couldn’t get any better, Astro Lounge has a Happy Hour event from 4pm to 7pm. During this time, guests get served crazy drinks, like Astro-Smash and Stockholm Royale, and food for a cheaper rate. In addition to Happy Hour and excellent cuisine, the place hosts various events throughout the year, such as Trivia Tuesday. Now, for those looking for something more unique, the Velvet Lounge is the place to visit.

Velvet Lounge

What makes this place so special is its rustic-chic interior and art decorated walls, which gives it an art gallery feeling on steps inside. In addition to cool interior design, the bar has an interesting menu. For instance, the drinks have ingredients that come from a tree located in the South American rainforest.

Moreover, the menu has crazy spelled food and drink options. For example, when reading through the menu options, the names for the food and drinks have crazy spelling, like Yamajito, Moscow mule, and Zucchini Fries. Which, gives outsider of the Bend, Oregon area the feeling that the bar’s targeted patrons are hipsters.

While it doesn’t have cool events like the previously described places did, Velvet Lounge does have a unique atmosphere to it that will appeal to some customers.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, the three locations described in this article gives anyone looking to visit Bend, Oregon a reason to do so, and give you more insight into the city’s nightlife. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you found it enjoyable, leave a comment below and keep exploring.

Must Try Restaurants in Bend, OR

Oregon is one of the fast growing states in the country. The beautiful woods, easy access to the coast and highly educated population make it an alluring place. One of the most popular cities in the area is Bend, Oregon. Many people have chosen to make this their home. If you live here and want to try new things or you are visiting this region and wish to enjoy a great meal, there are several restaurants that should be at the top of your list. These places take full advantage of the region’s many fine products and offer the opportunity to get to know locals at the same time.

Drake

This neighborhood joint is a favorite for locals on their lunch break. Join them as they enjoy food that is both creative and comforting at the same time. Familiar items like burgers are right here along with salads, mussels and fries, a vast selection of sides and lots of cocktails to relax with as the day winds down. This makes the perfect stop if you want something that’s not fussy.

McKay Cottage

Start the day off on the right note with a fabulous breakfast. At McKay Cottage, breakfast is the focus. The emphasis here is on comfort foods. Try the delicate yet filling French toast. Items like cottage fries and omelets make it easy to get a hearty meal. If you have a sweet tooth, sample the homemade scones and the pecan sticky buns.

Joolz

Ethnic Lebanese food is on hand here. The chef is from Beirut. He’s take his roots and turned to the bounty of the region at the same time. The result is authentic Lebanese food made from high quality ingredients. This is the ideal place to stop if you’re looking for a fast lunch. Make a meal of the various small plates with dishes like spiced olives, Oregon lamb pitadilla and harissa spiced clams that call to mind places very far away.

Fusion & Sushi Bar

Upscale food from highly trained chefs can be found right here in Bend. Joe Kim is a three time semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard award. He brings his spin with Asian based flavor profiles to his own place. He also uses other kinds of cuisine ingredients to bring food that is uniquely his own. The ramen noodles carbonara illustrates his command of many kinds of ingredients. Sample the hot and sour soup topped with tortilla chips and try the barbecued pork made Chinese style with plenty of subtle heat that works well with one of the restaurant’s sweet desserts. There’s many Japanese and regional Asian wines on hand to complement his menu.

Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails

Cajun and Creole cuisine take center stage at this eatery. The luscious local produce pairs very well with the spices and elegant seasoning that are a hallmark of Louisiana cookery. If you’re in the mood for lunch, this is the place to explore this vibrant restaurant. Here, the goal is food that is bursting with flavor in every single bite. Vegetarians will find a full range of options including blackened tofu and lots of pasta choices. Meat eaters can relish the spices on hand in dishes that pay homage to one of America’s most celebrated cities. Multiple signature cocktails are on the menu, making it a great place to sample with lots of friends.

Spork

This widely hailed regional restaurant is about fun in a casual setting. The menu shows off the owner’s varied travels across the globe. Influences from Bangkok to Mexico bring his dishes a very special tang that has been widely noted by many local and national publications. People can sample fried chicken that is gently paired with homemade Korean kimchi. His many celebrated dishes include favorites like catfish tacos topped with a chili spiked mayo, grilled corn with lime butter, and a much adored salad of romaine lettuce with a strawberry and cumin dressing and a hint of poblano chilis. This is a nice place to appreciate all that is wonderful about living in the area and how chefs have been able to take advantage of it.

We All Need To Keep Our House Clean. Here Are Some Tools To Make It Easier

Cleaning the house is not everyone’s favorite jobs. While you don’t want to clutter your home up with a lot of gadgets, there are some excellent tools that can make cleaning your house a bit easier. Let’s take a look at some favorites.

Dish Brush

Getting food particles off of dishes can be a chore. A dish brush makes it a lot easier. The bristles on the brush scrape across the particles and loosen them from the surface. A dip in the dishwater cleans the bristles and you are ready for the next dish. This type of brush is excellent whether you are just scraping dishes for the dishwasher or doing the dishes by hand.

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Throw out your old cleaning rags and invest in some good microfiber cloths. The soft durable texture on these clothes makes it easy to remove grime from just about any surface without doing damage. The fine fibers easily pick up dust from wood and glass. They are fully washable and will last for many years. Add a few of these cloths to your car cleaning kit.

Cordless Vacuum

One of the hassles of housecleaning is dragging the vacuum and its cord from room to room. A cordless vacuum solves half this problem. Without the long cord getting in the way, you can get busy vacuuming floors throughout your home without a lot of hassle. You can cover the entire house in half the time it takes with a corded vacuum. Now, that is making cleaning easier for everyone.

Squeegee

Most people clean mirrors and windows with paper towels and window cleaners. While that is an effective option, a squeegee makes the job go faster and more efficiently. The squeegee applies even pressure across the glass, minimizing smudges and streaks in the process. Plus you can cover a larger area with a simple swipe, making the job go faster.

Scrub Brush

When you need to apply some elbow grease to tough dirt, a scrub brush will do the job. Ideally, the brush should have a handle so you can get a firm grip on it. This tool allows you to the soap scum off the bathtub wall and the dirt off your floor. Getting a few scrub brushes in different sizes will help you get into every space you need them in.

Toothbrush

A toothbrush is a perfect size for getting into small dirty spaces. A classic example of this is the open space around the base of your faucets. Dirt loves to accumulate in this part of the bathroom and kitchen. A toothbrush can easily remove small particulates and keep the area clean. Grout and sink rims are other examples.

Microfiber Dust Mop

If you have hard surface floors, a microfiber dust mop is an essential tool in your cleaning arsenal. The fine fibers on this type of mop pick up pet hair and dust like nothing else. The swivel head makes getting in and out of tight spaces simple. The mop is light, making easy to use for anyone in the family. The head can come off and go into the washer for a quick clean.

Extendable Duster

Dust and cobwebs seem to appear overnight, many times in out-of-reach places. A duster with an extendable handle will help you conquer these challenges. The expanding length of the handle makes it easy to reach the ceiling and higher parts of the wall, as well as getting behind and under furniture.

Spray Bottles

Now, many modern cleaners already come in their own spray bottles. However, if you want to try homemade cleaners, spray bottles are essential. White vinegar and water combine to make glass cleaner. Sudsy ammonia is good for removing grease in the kitchen. Lemon juice is a great anti-bacterial agent. Hydrogen peroxide works for disinfecting surfaces and cleaning stained grout.

Supply Caddy

When moving through your home, it is handy to have all of your common cleaning supplies in one container. A supply caddy will do the job. You can load up your cleaners, brushes, and sponges into the caddy and start tackling your cleaning chores. If you have more than one story in your home, consider buying caddies and supplies for each floor.